Can Crans-Montana save the Cyprus settlement talks?

20 June 2017

The reunification of Cyprus is one of the world’s longest running and intractable international problems. Despite more than four decades of UN-led negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, a settlement deal has remained out of reach. The unprecedented enthusiasm and optimism that existed in the early days of the most recent round of talks has disappeared, with the process looking increasingly on its last legs. Significant differences remain on a number of issues, not least related to security and guarantees and territorial adjustments. At a recent meeting in New York, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, convinced the leaders of the two communities, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, to take part in an international conference in Geneva on 17 June in a final attempt to reach a settlement before the summer. Whether or not this process ends in success will have significant political, economic and security implications for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, as well as for the broader region. At this EPC Dialogue, two experts from Cyprus analysed recent developments in the settlement talks including the fallout from the January Geneva conference, what to expect at the forthcoming Crans-Montana conference and what a non-solution could mean for the future of the island.

Speakers included: Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre, Ahmet Sözen, Professor of International Relations, Eastern Mediterranean University and Research Director at SeeD (Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development), Anna Koukiddes-Procopiou, Member of the Advisory Board at the Centre for European & International Affairs - University of Nicosia and researcher at SeeD